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Buying a New Tractor

Old 02-09-2018, 05:52 PM
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Default Buying a New Tractor

Been shopping for a new tractor lately and put together a deal on a new Kioti DK5010HS today. It's 50 HP, 4wd, hydraulic shuttle tranny, front end loader, dual rear remotes, and a few niceties. It's a pretty nice machine.

I've always used a rotary cutter. I have 10 acres that's all field grass. Several around me have switched from rotary cutters to using rear finish mowers or flail mowers.

Wondering if anybody has any experience with flail mowers and if they are worth it for 10 acres of grass. Land is flat and smooth.
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:55 PM
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I should add that I want to go big with the mower. Probably 8' or so. I currently cut with a New Holland Workmaster 33 and a 5' rotary cutter. It's takes 7+ hours to cut. Would like to cut that time down without having to go to the expense of a batwing.
Old 02-09-2018, 06:52 PM
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Nice tractor. No experience with flail mower, but have bush hog and a finish mower. Finish mower will give you a cleaner cut. We've run ours through some stuff you shouldn't be using it for and it's held up well so far. It's only drawback is it isn't as heavy duty and if ground is not smooth, you will put some good wear/tear on them.
Old 02-09-2018, 07:04 PM
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I used to bush hog vacant lots for developers, the guy who eventually underbid me uses a flail mower and I have to admit it leaves a nicer finish. Not sure how wide a unit a 50 hp tractor will run.
Old 02-09-2018, 07:44 PM
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For what you are describing, I don't see any fit for a flail mower. Just keep in mind that when you start going over 7' wide bush hogs, you usually go to dual gear heads and 4 sets of blades, and on my 3008 (8' bush hog) it's recommended a minimum 50 hp at the pto, so for a 50 hp tractor (probably 43-47 hp at the pto) you will call on that drive system. It may take longer but I would stick with a 7' single gear bush hog.
Old 02-09-2018, 07:55 PM
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Flail mowers are quite expensive. I'd get a 72 inch finish mower and put the tractor in a higher gear. I used to cut 4 acres with a 5 foot rotary cutter in 1 hr. 30 min. with a 30 PTO hp Ford tractor.

Or, lease it out for hay to a local guy.
Old 02-09-2018, 08:23 PM
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I have a 72" Ferri flail mower but it's behind a full size tractor. They are extremely heavy and a royal PIA to sharpen or replace all those flails. I don't think it would be the best for your set-up.

Mine does not give any kind of nice finish cut but I have what they call hammer flails and really only use it for rough cutting. It does chew right thru uglier stuff like multiflora rose, spice bush & up to about 2" saplings.
Old 02-10-2018, 04:40 AM
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Flail mowers produce a great cut, but they are a pain to deal with--replacing cutters that swing on the ends of chains. If you will niotce, many schools and parks use them because they don't launch rocks at 200 mph. They are safe to use with people around. But I wouldn't suggest one for your use.

If you are wanting a fast cut of pasture,type land, the only thing to use is a disc mower. They will cut as fast as you can go your tractor. They cut anything, in their path, including fencing, fence posts and kitty cats. That's what the professional hay cutters use.

If a yard like finish is desired, go with as large of a finishing mower as the tractor can handle.

I prefer a big name mower because of the availability of parts in the future. Woods, Bush Hog and Land Pride are brands that come to mind on finishing mowers. On disc mkwers, give me a New Holland or Kuhn.
Old 02-10-2018, 04:47 AM
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I use a finish mower on mine and love it. Better than the bush hog. I have 35 acres and it handles it no problem
Old 02-10-2018, 04:56 AM
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We have a 50 hp Kubota set up just like your Kioti and a 72” land pride finish mower. It leaves a beautiful finish and will cut thicker than you might think. I wanted an 84” mower but when I bought mine they didn’t have one in stock. I feel you could pull a 96” finish mower with that set up. Land pride builds good stuff but I’ve replaced at least one spindle bearing and have some castor bearings going bad now. I don’t use it that often and to me shouldn’t have had to replace any parts on it yet. I’d look at
The bush hog brand finish mower and get the heavier series. Like they make a light series rotary cuter 196 that’s a light series 1 96”. Or a 296. Heavier series 2 96” and so on. Also Brown manufacturing builds very good mowers and harrows. Good luck
Old 02-10-2018, 05:05 AM
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Are you cutting Bahaia, or floratam or a mix. Bahaia has a very high sand content and is tough on blades. Are you on Boca or are you in placida somewhere. I am a row vendor for Charlotte county,personally I think you want to stay with a rotary cutter 8 footer with dual tail wheels and as high of blade tip speed you can find, John Deere,rhino,bush hog all make decks that will work
Old 02-10-2018, 05:39 AM
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On that size tractor, I personally would not want wider than a 6’ bush hog. 3 reasons. 1) anything above 6’, and either your ground speed or your cut quality is going to suffer. 2) anything above that, and you need a deck over trailer to haul, unless you get lucky and it will balance with the implement completely behind the axles. 3) If it is a heavy built unit, you will be pushing the limits of lifting it and maintaining steering control if the loader is removed. Unless you want to juggle with counter weights every time you pull the loader, this will be a pain in the ass.

For cut quality with a bush hog, nothing will improve it more than for it to have dual trailing wheels. If they are adjustable height, you want the overhead rotors to be straight up and down (perpendicular to the ground) so that when they swivel the deck does change height. This will keep the deck flat to the ground side to side. Also very important to run at the proper ground speed to maintain PTO rpm, and to maintain your blades. Also want to pin your lower links to be completely ridged so that it trails good, and have your top link slightly loose at mowing height, which causes the front of the mower to follow the back tires of the tractor, rather than pivot up and down every time the front of the tractor changes height compared to the rear.

On a finish mower, you can go a bit wider. Generally they are lighter so the trailer thing won’t be an issue. Again, look at the trailing wheel configuration, and you will also want robust anti scalp wheels. If going for a manicured look, and increasing speed over a bush hog, you will make some gains by going to a finish mower.

If I could only have one implement, I would stick with the 6’ bush hog. A 5’ will run fine behind that tractor, if you happen to have one. I would definitely not want to only have a finish mower, just because they can’t be used everywhere.

The other suggestion of having someone cut they hay is great. Not going to get much $ for it, but even if you give it away, you will save $ compared to cutting it yourself. Just dictate in the agreement that soil nutrient levels are to be maintained, and also cutting needs to be aesthetically clean. Some hay guys will get in a hurry and not bother to clean up around the edges/corners that are difficult to swing a disk mower/rake into.

Last edited by autobaun70; 02-10-2018 at 05:47 AM.
Old 02-10-2018, 05:42 AM
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I like Caroni estate mowers. I have 7 acres and used a 60" for 23 years. Got great life out of it, had to weld a few patch panels in at about 15 years, bought (1) set of blades per year and never changed the belts! Couple years ago I decided to step up and got a new tractor to be able to run this 93" cut. I went from 6-1/2 hours/15 beers to 3-1/4 hours/8beers... Savings all around!

BTW you can just about use it as a brush hog with a set of Gator mulcher blades on it.
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Old 02-10-2018, 07:14 AM
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Real time!
Old 02-10-2018, 07:18 AM
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One more. They said me grabbing one at Time was taking too long.
Old 02-10-2018, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Phathog View Post
I like Caroni estate mowers. I have 7 acres and used a 60" for 23 years. Got great life out of it, had to weld a few patch panels in at about 15 years, bought (1) set of blades per year and never changed the belts! Couple years ago I decided to step up and got a new tractor to be able to run this 93" cut. I went from 6-1/2 hours/15 beers to 3-1/4 hours/8beers... Savings all around!

BTW you can just about use it as a brush hog with a set of Gator mulcher blades on it.
We have a 5’ Caroni. Held up fairly well for us
Old 02-10-2018, 09:10 AM
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For 10 acres..I would use a Brush Hog...I have had several Kutota tractors...love them..

Just bought another...below...

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Old 02-10-2018, 04:27 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I'll probably just pick up a 6' medium duty rotary cutter for now and add a rear finish mower later if I think I need it.

I met one of my neighbors today that has a 7' Land Pride, dual spindle offset rotary cutter. It's a nice cutter. He pulls it with a 6060 Kubota. It's nice rig but probably overkill for my needs.
Old 02-10-2018, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by E.S.H View Post
Are you cutting Bahaia, or floratam or a mix. Bahaia has a very high sand content and is tough on blades. Are you on Boca or are you in placida somewhere. I am a row vendor for Charlotte county,personally I think you want to stay with a rotary cutter 8 footer with dual tail wheels and as high of blade tip speed you can find, John Deere,rhino,bush hog all make decks that will work
I'm not positive what type of grass I have. This property is in eastern Sarasota county.

What is a row vendor? Did you mean mow vendor?
Old 02-10-2018, 04:50 PM
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Tractor Mike has a nice set of videos on Flail mowers vs Finish and Rotary. Most of us end up Rotary for rough property maintenance and some add a finish mower later for more yard like mowing. Flails are neat and handy... but they require more maintenance and cost more as I think you already know.

Whatever you chose make sure it covers your tracks. It is as wide as your rear wheel profile. In your case it will be 6 feet.

Really getting good results with my Kioti. Mines a CK2610 Hydrostatic. Perfect size for my situation and I run 5 foot stuff with mine. You'll easily be good with 6 foot stuff. I was running that stuff with my Ford that was about that same HP and size.

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